Adventure, archaeology, and ancient history are skillfully combined in this first biography for young readers of Austen Henry Layard, whose nineteeth-century excavation of the ancient city of Nineveh was a remarkable archaeological feat.
Set against the authentic background of the Assyrian kingdom, Mr. Silverberg's absorbing account traces Layard's travels through the Mesopotamian desert country, his experiences with the Arabian tribes, and his encounters with marauding Bedouins and Turks. Here, too, are the fascinating explorations of the huge mounds under which the dead cities of Assyria lay buried, explorations which led to his discovering the palaces of the great Assyrian kings, Sennacherib and Assurbanipal. The author also describes how Layard uncovered such prized artifacts as huge winged bulls, statuary reliefs, and alabaster slabs inscribed in cuneiform.
Most exciting is Mr. Silverberg's picture of the daring man who uncovered the glories of ancient kingdoms and added significantly to the wealth of history.